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London seeks to invent motive for Russia in ex-spy poisoning case - diplomat

March 21, 1:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

OPCW announced on Tuesday that the analysis into the substance used for the poisoning would take at least three weeks

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MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. London is trying to invent a motive for Moscow in the poisoning case of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"The United Kingdom and partners in NATO had the motive. And Russia did not have the motive. So, it should be invented," Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page, commenting on UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s article in The Telegraph, who linked the Russian presidential election to the incident in Salisbury. "The message is clear: we will hunt you down, we will find you and we will kill you - and though we will scornfully deny our guilt, the world will know that Russia did it," Johnson wrote.

"What for is this new portion of fakes and attacks carried out by a newcomer in the British diplomacy?" Zakharova said.

The answer is clear: Johnson is trying to "save the honor of [UK Prime Minister] Theresa May, who announced punishment for the country by expelling Russian diplomats not before the end of the investigation, but in fact before its beginning." All information on the Salisbury case is highly classified, she said.

London also seeks to hush up Moscow’s call to provide all information about the case for joint work on investigating the incident, Zakharova said, stressing that no such data has been revealed so far.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced on Tuesday that the analysis into the substance used for the poisoning would take at least three weeks. "It’s strange that just a couple of hours were enough for the British government’s first reaction," Zakharova stressed.

Some experts believe that the incident in Salisbury is on the one hand a new round of the global anti-Russian campaign and on the other hand a chance to manipulate Theresa May, she said. "Why? Now she is a hostage of her own law enforcement agents," the Russian diplomat said. "Her political fate will depend just on their word, and certainly one their leak."

Ex-Colonel Sergei Skripal from Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent on March 4 and found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, UK. Both of them have been hospitalized and are in critical condition.

British authorities blamed Russia for the poisoning, but failed to provide any evidence to support their accusations. Russia refuted all of London’s allegations. With that, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and the suspension of high-level bilateral contacts. On Saturday, in response to London’s moves, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that Russia had declared 23 British diplomats personae-non-gratae and would expel them within a week, close the British consulate general in St. Petersburg, and terminate the British Council’s activity in Russia.

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